Unfortunately, there are not many people who recycle their electronic devices when they become outdated. What's more, you might be surprised to find out how much valuable material an old laptop or smartphone has. Quite literally, there is gold inside used electronics. Compared to gold ore, 100 tons of smartphones have more gold, which can be reused to make electronics.
Yet in late 2015, over 435,000 tons of mobile phones were discarded, containing valuable gold and rare materials like copper, silver, palladium, and platinum. E-waste is not junk as it contains valuable materials. Also, we should not forget that e-waste is responsible for 70% of harmful substances that pollute the Earth every day.
The trouble does not end there. Humongous amounts of e-waste are sent to landfills and incinerators to be burnt. As consumers rush to buy new electronics, discarding old ones, we are burying tons of e-waste every year, creating unprecedented pressure on the environment and thereby collective health and wellbeing.
Till 2017, 1.46 billion smartphones were sold. By 2020, the figure is expected to go as high as 2.87 billion. And as the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps expanding the internet connectivity beyond the typical devices such as laptops and smartphones to non-internet devices, it is anticipated that within a very few, the number of network devices in use will be up to 50 billion.
We need to recognize the issue and do what we can to mitigate the crises: recycling e-waste in sustainable ways. Want the environment to be cleaner, healthier? Commit today, and recycle your unwanted electronics. And remember, knowledge is power. You can help the planet by learning more about e-waste and educating your community, friends, and family about this challenge, so they join in the recycling efforts, too.